In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the way that one policeman’s act of humility and courage by ‘taking a knee’ transformed a protest and ended in everyone praying together. You can also watch the video below.
First a quick update:
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How To Adapt To Tumultuous Change & Uncertainty Now
The entire world is experiencing dramatic and tumultuous change as a result of Covid-19 and protests. There is extreme uncertainty. How can you successfully adapt to the change? Watch my video and also learn how to deal with the accompanying emotions – sadness, sorrow, grief, fear and anxiety
Now, let’s talk about the way that one policeman’s act of humility and courage transformed a protest and ended in everyone praying together.
I witnessed a video that made me cry, of an incident in Fort Worth Texas.
The protest the night before had ended with anger, tear gas, smoke, and flash bombs.
On this evening, police were again lined up on one side, and protesters on the other side; the physical distance between them symbolized the divide that exists in so many cities right now.
The situation was tense and volatile.
Protesters started to kneel together on the street and cried out, “Just take a knee.”
Moments passed when a policeman walked out in the divide, toward the protesters. He stopped halfway, and then he suddenly got down on one knee. Within a second, there were so many loud screams ringing out as the protesters went running to him, and they, too, got down on their knees and hugged the policeman.
The gap and divide between them shrank and then dissolved. Protesters and police were hugging.
The choice by one man in a uniform to go down on one knee transformed everyone.
I believe that this police officer David Yancey’s actions were heroic, and they reflect what Admiral William H. McRaven, in his commencement address to MIT Friday, May 29, 2020, cited as the 6 traits needed to become the hero we all need right now.
1. Moral Courage
It takes courage to act in spite of fear, danger or pain. Moral courage, though, is the choice to act to do the right thing in spite of painful consequences for oneself as a result of doing what is morally right.
This officer, David Yancey, couldn’t predict what would happen or the way that his fellow officers might respond when he decided to ‘take a knee.’ In his heart, he knew what is right and wrong, and what was the right action to take. He said, he viewed the gesture as a “symbol of trust and unity.”
“You must summon the courage to fight and fight hard for your convictions…Speaking the truth can be dangerous at times.” – Admiral William H. McRaven
Humility is the opposite to arrogance, entitlement, and superiority. Humility refers to being willing to say, ‘I don’t have all the answers…I am not superior to others…I am willing to listen, and I seek to understand others…I don’t need to be right every time – I choose peace and being happy over being right.’
This officer and those that joined him to go down on one knee humbled themselves before the protesters. Their act of humility softened the hearts of the protesters and dissolved the divide.
Perseverance is persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Persevering implies you do not give up in the face of obstacles. Instead you are tenacious, and you persist until the very end, even if it is extremely difficult or painful.
“…most discoveries, most achievements, most triumphs are the product of a long and painful process and only the most resolute, the ones that can persevere through the failure, the rejection, the ridicule, the emotional and physical strain of time – those are the ones most likely to save the world.” – Admiral William H. McRaven
When you sacrifice, you are giving up something that is highly valuable to you for something that is even more valuable or significant.
This officer, David Yancey, sacrificed his pride and perhaps the image other officers might have had for his initial action to kneel. He was willing to act regardless of the fear of the way it might turn out. His focus was to help, serve and protect other people, which, is the slogan of many police departments.
Integrity is “Always trying to do what is moral, legal and ethical. It will not be easy and I dare say, you will fail occasionally. You will fail because you are human.” – Admiral William H. McRaven
We often know in our hearts what is moral, legal and ethical; with moral courage we take the right action, just as this and the other officers did.
In my workshops, I devote a lot of time to helping participants understand the difference between, sympathy, empathy, and compassion.
Sympathy is feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune; you are looking down upon someone from a higher place.
Empathy is acknowledging, feeling and understanding someone else’s pain or misfortune; you are looking across to someone from the same place.
Compassion is acknowledging, feeling and understanding someone else’s pain or misfortune, and, desiring and acting to relieve that pain; you are at the same level as the other person, and then you act to help lift them up from that place of pain.
It took an open heart, humility, courage, and above all, great compassion for this officer to kneel thereby expressing his sincere sharing of their pain and the desire to alleviate it.
“You must ache for the poor and disenfranchised. You must fear for the vulnerable. You must weep for the ill and infirmed. You must pray for those who are without hope. You must be kind to less fortunate.” – Admiral William H. McRaven
Incidentally, the night ended with everyone praying together and both sides kept their word: the police pulled back the Special Response Team and SWAT, and the protesters went home, as they had promised they would!
The way each one of us chooses to respond to all of the challenges that beset us will determine if we can reunite again with love, hope and joy!
If you need help to overcome a challenge, trauma or the past, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.